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A Carrawell To Arms: Duke Hires Marquette Assistant Coach Chris Carrawell

The coaching carousel turns and gives Steve Wojciechowski a chance to change up his staff.

South Carolina v Duke
No, I don’t know what Coach K is doing here.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Every single person thinks that they’re unique, that they have something to offer to this world that no one else can. You’re all guilty of it. I’m guilty of it. The only perspective that we can truly know is our own, so the limited points of view that we learn from others pale in comparison to everything we know about ourselves.

You’re not special. As a matter of fact you’re probably below average. On top of all that, you’re insanely predictable. I don’t even know who you are and I can already tell you the exact reason that you are reading this column.

You’re here because the headline popped up on your feed and you have no idea who Chris Carrawell is, or you saw Jeff Goodman’s tweet and you waited for this article to tell you who Chris Carrawell is.

You want to know who Chris Carrawell is? I can’t tell you that. Only Chris Carrawell knows who Chris Carrawell is, and even he struggles to find the answer to that question every day.

You want to avoid existential dilemmas and just find out Chris Carrawell’s role at Marquette? Well you should have specified before. This is practice for if you encounter a sly genie.

Chris Carrawell appears to be a player development expert, according to our AE writer group chat and/or his Marquette hiring press release. He is likely a decent portion of the reason that Marquette’s freshmen have outperformed expectations. I can’t tell you what slice of that pie chart is dedicated to his expertise, though. I’ll say he was 31% of it, with 69% going to the rest of the coaches. He’s gone now, though, off to Duke to replace Jeff Capel, who is now the head coach at Pittsburgh for some reason. (SPOILER ALERT: The reason is money.)

This leaves Marquette and Steve Wojciechowski with an assistant coach vacancy to fill, and, well, this seems to be a very good opportunity to make a drastic change in how the Golden Eagles play.

If you follow college basketball at the psychotic-level of detail that I do, you may know one of the main reasons that Michigan has made its current Final Four run. John Beilein has never been known as a defensive guru. In his 17 years of coaching, he has led a top-30 KenPom offense 9 different times. Before this year, the best defense he had coached in the KenPom era was the 34th ranked Richmond defense. That was back in 2002, and then he bounced to West Virginia immediately after that. This year Michigan has the 4th ranked defense.

Given context clues, you can tell this change in Beilein’s approach is because of an assistant coach change. Good job. You’re still not special. Luke Yaklich is known as the guy who saved Michigan’s defense. John “Johnny Boy” Beilein clearly realized an area needing improvement and hired someone to fill that gap.

If you want another example from the other end of the spectrum, look at AE’s (just mine, really) second favorite team in the Wichita State Shockers. Chris Jans was known as the defensive guru for Gregg Marshall’s squad from 2007-2017 (except the one year that he was head coach at Bowling Green and got fired for some wildly problematic behavior). In that time the Shockers were known for the mantra “Play angry” and won their games on the defensive end. Before this season, he took the head coaching job at New Mexico State and Wichita State became a sub-100 defense instantly.

Head coaches don’t do everything, just like the boss at your job doesn’t do everything. If Wojo can find his own defensive guru, this could bode really well for future teams. Maybe I’m looking into this too much, but I’m also definitely going to be barreling through like 5 pages of Google searches after the new assistant is announced.